Starting next week, the Portland Thorns and Timbers will require fans entering games at Providence Park to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated.

Club president Mike Golub said the teams made the move due to the rapid spread of the delta variant.

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“We felt a responsibility to change the policy with the health and safety of our fans as top priority while doing our part to reduce transmission in our community,” Golub said. “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safe, free, effective and the quickest way to end this pandemic.”

Providence Park is pictured in Portland, Ore., Saturday, May 2, 2020. Major League Soccer took a significant step toward reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing it would allow teams to hold workouts for individual players.

Providence Park is pictured in Portland, Ore., Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Bradley W. Parks / OPB

Anyone 12 or older entering the park will have to show a CDC vaccination card, a photocopy, or a picture of the card on a mobile device. They must be at least two weeks past completing their vaccine series.

People without proof of vaccination must show they’ve had a negative COVID test within 48 hours of kickoff.

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Timbers.com: Latest Providence Park venue policies | Providence Park Guest Guide

The vaccine requirement begins on Aug. 25, when the Thorns host Gotham FC.

At a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, Golub acknowledged that the new COVID-19 procedures go beyond what is required by the state. But he said they were consistent with what fans want.

“The great majority of our fans are vaccinated but also the great majority of our fans wanted us to implement these set of protocols,” Golub said.

The Timbers and Thorns reopened Providence Park to home matches in March, at 25% capacity. It’s now operating at full capacity.

In line with Oregon’s face mask policy, everyone over 5 will also be required to wear a mask, except when seated.

Related: Gov. Kate Brown defends school mask mandate, urges districts to cooperate


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